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For Educators

Great Horned Owl

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson

  • Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI)

    EEI logo

    Educators are encouraged to explore Blue Heron Trails using the State of California EEI curriculum to enhace the field trip and lesson objectives.  The refuge has developed eight educational panels adapted to K- 6 themes in the EEI units as well as a student 'Bee the Biologist' field journal activity and Discovery Packs.  For more information about the EEI curriculum or to download the EEI educator and student lessons and workbooks, please visit the Education and the Environment Initiative website.   

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  • Blue Heron Trails

    Blue Heron Trails

    Blue Heron Trails is centered around providing a quality environmental education experience for educators and students through many different activities including, 'Bee the Biologist' program and field journal, Project Budburst, Discovery Packs, Service Learning and educational kiosks centered around the EEI curriculum.  Although the site is open daily free of charge, educators are requested to reserve the site in advance for field trips to help avoid scheduling conflicts.

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  • Educational Kiosks

    Blue Heron Trails

    Along Blue Heron Trails are eight environmental education panels on four kiosks (two panels on each kiosk), each with a different theme.  The panels are aligned with the State of California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) for grades K-6, and incoorproated into the "Bee" the Biologist' progam and field journal activities.  Educators are encouraged to take advantage of these educational kiosks on their field trips to enhance lesson objectives and activities.

  • 'Bee the Biologist' Program

    Bee the Biologist

    An educational hands-on program where teachers and students explore Blue Heron Trails through science based activities and a field journal, the "Bee" the Biologist' program is designed to compliment the on-site educational kiosks, Discovery Packs, and the K-6 State of California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) curriculum.  "Bee" the Biologist' is a great way to work science, art, math, history, and language writing skills into a field trip to the refuge.  The refuge is also developing a non-educator led version of the field journal for visiting families.

  • Discovery Packs

    Discovery Pack

    On your field trip to Stone Lakes NWR, the refuge has several Discovery Packs that are free to checkout and use while exploring Blue Heron Trails.  The self-guided packs focus on hands-on acitivies, including items such as; a field journal, binoculars, field guides for birds and track ID, water quality sampling, viewing scope, ground plot sampling, dip net, compass, collection jars, and a bug catcher.  Discovery packs are available during normal business hours.

  • Project Budburst

    Project Budburst

    A nationwide Citizen Science project, Stone Lakes has partnered with Project Budburst to monitor long-term climate change on seasonal timing of plant flowering, fruiting, etc.  Anyone can participate, and all you have to do is write what you observe for any of our 10 selected plants and then input your data on the Project Budburst webpage for Stone Lakes. The plants that were picked to monitor can all be found on Blue Heron Trails. It's a great way to engage your class outdoors while lending your nature observations to a science monitoring project!

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  • Service Learning

    Service Learning

    Throughout the school year, and particularly the winter season, the refuge may be able to offer visiting groups a Service Learning project, such as a habitat restoration planting project or Project BudBurst.  Service Learning habitat restoration project availability is dependent upon funding, time of year, and refuge needs.

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  • Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest

    Junior Duck Stamp

    The Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program is a dynamic, art and science program designed to teach wetlands habitat and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school and help reconnect youth with the outdoors. The program guides students, using scientific and wildlife observation principles, to communicate visually what they have learned through an entry into the Junior Duck Stamp art contest. This non-traditional pairing of subjects brings new interest to both the sciences and the arts to teach greater awareness of our nation's natural resources.

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  • Schedule a Field Trip

    School Bus

    Have a group you would like to bring out?  Although Blue Heron Trails is open year-round, the best time of year to view migratory birds is December through March and we encourage making reservations at least a month in advance.  Guided field trips with a naturalist is dependent on staff availability, and groups are encouraged to also use the site on their own.  To request a site reservation, naturalist led field trip, or reserve a Discovery Pack, please go to the Learn More link below. All programs are free upon availability.

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  • Helpful Links

Page Photo Credits — Great Horned Owl / Susan Rachlin, Blue Heron Trails / Amy Hopperstad, Blue Heron Trails Kiosk / Bruce Hall, Discovery Pack / Amy Hopperstad, Service Learning / Amy Hopperstad, School Bus / Amy Hopperstad
Last Updated: Feb 18, 2014
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